Today marks four years since the Russian military shot down passenger plane MH17 over the warzone in Ukraine.
Above is the service we held for ambassadors and politicians at the Ukrainian Orthodox Church in Canberra in 2014 (twenty-seven Australians were killed in the disaster). In the first picture ambassadors and other embassy representatives from countries including the Netherlands, Malaysia, and the United States can be seen on the left.
The second is a cross surrounded by 298 candles – one for each victim of the attack.
A memorial to the dead I photographed in 2016.
Today is the fourth anniversary of the end of Ukraine’s Euromaidan revolution. On the 20th of February, 2014 pro-Russian snipers took to the streets and shot and killed as many civilians as they could manage.
Snipers in the same spot the memorials are now.
The revolution resulted in overthrowing the corrupt, dictatorial oligarch in charge of the country, but he fled to Russia and paved the way for Putin’s invasion shortly afterwards.
Huge congratulations to Ukraine’s Oleksandr Abramenko for his Olympic gold medal win in men’s aerials freestyle skiing! It was not expected.
And a reminder Russia is once again occupying Crimea and committing acts of ethnic cleansing against the Tatars.
I’ve been through the United Arab Emirates a few times in the past few weeks, and will be passing through there again a few more times before the end of the year (unfortunately – Emirates is a terrible airline, with food so bad only British Airways is worse, and service more appalling than anything except the rude lot at Swiss Ariways!).
I always get the sense people see it as a special, shiny playground just for them, forgetting that underneath it all it’s still an Islamic country. In recent times women have been put in prison for sex before marriage – because they reported a RAPE.
Now, a Ukrainian woman is behind bars because doctors discovered she was pregnant to her long-term partner. The issue? She’s not married. She is being held while they allegedly test her to see how long she has been sexually active.
That sounds a hell of a lot like they’re doing some appalling things to her – all in the name of protecting “morals”.
Please be aware of the laws in countries you’re visiting. Just because things look pretty on the surface, and just because YOU’VE never had an issue (the number of times I’ve heard men defending the United Arab Emirates to women…) doesn’t mean everything is perfect.
Filed under Travel, Ukraine
Ukrainian Christmas Eve is tomorrow, even though we’re not Orthodox, and that’s when we have our big celebration (and our twelve-dish dinner!).
We have made eighty-four of these dumplings – varenyky – so far (they’re uncooked in this picture), and will be making at least a hundred more. And that’s just one dish!
What a busy few – hot – days!